After 17 years on the air, Sci Fi Channel is changing it’s name and doing away with it’s iconic Saturn logo as seen right over there. See it! See it!
That’s great logo work.
But, for a network best known for Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, and an assortment of ghost shows, reruns and made for television mutant animal movies you would think rebranding to encompass all aspects of the science fiction, fantasy, and other loosely affiliated genres would be a smart move.
Cue the jokes. I’ve got none because I’m just flummoxed at how retarded this change is. They changed the freaking spelling of the name. That’s it.
The New York Times reports that the network will roll out its new name in its advertiser upfronts todag, and officially make the switch on July 7. The network’s genre-leading Web site, SciFi.com, will also make the switch.
The main reason for the change, according to Bonnie Hammer, former head of the network and now president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions, and her successor David Howe, is that the name “SCI FI” was too limiting.
“If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future,” Howe said. “That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes” — areas of programming that have becoming increasingly important as the network has found ratings success with shows like Ghost Hunters, ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling, and Destination Truth.
So you would think that the channel would change more than just the spelling of Sci Fi. I don’t even want to know how much they paid someone to come up with this crap.
I get the desire to rebrand (though they may want to concentrate on their programming), especially if they could serve as a sort of genre-friendly network, doing what FX (gritty dramas/absurd comedies), AMC (classy, cinema-esque television) and USA (quirky procedurals/characters) do, but with science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, horror, etc.
If they did that and rolled out quality shows on the level of Battlestar and anything those other networks offered they would put themselves into a very stable marketplace position. There is a huge market of people that love this shit. They would add value to NBC/Universal as their television genre division.
Instead, the channel is left with a muddled, non-existent identity, their only original program leaving the air next Friday night, and a channel that clearly doesn’t undertand the power that branding and programming can have.
I don’t think of anything particular when I think about SyFy’s programming. Reruns perhaps and stuff I don’t really want to watch. Which is unfortunate because I’m their target audience. I’m the one who should be excited about this change.
The biggest winner out of all this seems to be Airlock Alpha, the website formerly known as Syfy Portal, which sold the trademark to the cable channel for an undisclosed sum.